I have been reading a lot of blogs lately, and came across one that shared some special experiences that happened while at Disneyland/WDW. I thought it was really cool that Disney did things like comping resort rooms, sending gifts/autographs to people, picking individuals to be in parades, etc. What are some experiences you have had like this?
Well, I don’t know how “special” these are, but they were memorable moments for my kids.
During our most recent Disney trip, while we were on Star Tours, my six-year-old son was highlighted during the ride as the rebel spy. He was, of course, shocked and thrilled by this!
Many years ago, when Disney was doing something called The Year of Million Wishes or Dreams or something. (Forget exactly). But anyhow, while two of my kids were getting off Goofy’s Barnstormer, there was a team of cast members there that bestowed upon them several free pins. (This was at the very beginning of the pin trading at WDW.) They came running around the corner so incredibly excited.
It is what makes Disney magical, I suppose. The little things. (Of course, the cynic in me also realizes that in the first case it is a prime opportunity to get parents to buy their kids the “I am the rebel spy” T-shirt they have at the gift shop visible as you come off the ride, and the second case it will start an interest in pin trading…aka pin buying…for those who don’t have pins yet!)
my 5 yo was visibly upset when we were approaching the FOTLK show last trip (I think he had hurt his toe or something)–a CM saw us out front and said “Disney is no place for being sad” and whisked us away to the front row of the show. We were the only people allowed in at the time, and the kids were chosen as part of the show. Right before it started, he came by and gave my son a Simba stuffed animal. It is the little things, but it just adds to the magic.
Another time in Epcot, we were waiting to see Aurora and she had to go on break. We were maybe 2-3 people back in line. My daughter 3 at the time was crushed. Guess she didn’t understand that she’d be back. Aurora saw her and came over and signed her autograph book and then told DD that she had to go and didn’t have time to talk but that DD could hold her hand and walk her to the castle and talk. That made her trip!
Another time quite a few years ago (maybe 2010?), we had a walk on to POTC and our own boat (party of 5). When we returned to the stop to get out, the CM said “clearly you are pirate royalty if you have your own boat, why don’t you ride again?” and off we went for ride 2. So fun!
That makes up for 1+ hour we were stuck on HM one afternoon with the lights on without any compensation–they wouldn’t even let us walk out.
Awesome! On one of our trips to Disneyland, my 8 year old son wanted to try to collect the set of 5 oswald pins. he was one short at one of the pin carts, and the CM literally went all over the place looking for it. He returned and said he couldnt find the last one. Later that day, he approached us, and gave it and many other pins to us for free. Really cool how he would go search all the pin stops for us.
Nothing major but a couple of nice incidents
On our last day we wanted to leave earlier than planned and the CM let us use our FP early for SDMT. Also on our night out without the kids we had planned to ride TT together with a RS. The ride had been down so we couldn’t get the RS earlier, but DH had an anytime FP, when we explained to the CM he let us both in.
My hubby and I went to Disney world last March (2017) for our birthdays, as they are on the same day. While there they did some very sweet little things for us. It’s just small little magical moments that make it so awesome.
This trip we didn’t stay at a Disney resort (Stayed off property and drove our car) so all of it happened within the parks.
Day 1 at the parks we got our “Birthday Pins” and it began…
- Everyoe greeting us with a “Happy Birthday!”
- Free chocolate cake at Casey’s Corner with our lunch in Magic Kingdom
- Birthday card signed from all the Muppets to us when we walked up to go on the Muppet Vision 3D ride in Magic Kingdom.
- When we drove to the entrance to pay for parking to get inside Hollywood Studios the cast member at the booth saw our birthday buttons when we went to pay her. She said wait a minute and grabbed her phone and said here this call is for you and handed me the phone in my car. It was Goofy singing Happy Birthday to us over the phone lol. Then she gave us Micky and Minnie stickers and said go on in don’t worry about paying for parking (saved $20 for the parking fee).
- We got to walk through The Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studios with the tag on a lanyard they give you at the beginning of the entrance to give to the cast member when you get to board the actual ride to see how long the actual line wait is for that ride.
Just the small things make it magical
wow! awesome! i have some questions for you since we are staying off site, and driving as well in May. First time to WDW. lol
Sure! Ask away lol… I’ll be there again this year at the end of August. Currently planning now as we’re staying on site this time with more family coming.
mostly just looking for tips on driving/parking at MK, etc. and how early to leave to be there in the park by rope drop.
We have been lucky in that we have had some special things during our trips. Nothing over the top.
On our honeymoon, we received balloons and a signed card from Mickey and Minnie in our resort room. We got champagne glasses at CRT and received multiple extra desserts at various restaurants. We were sung to by a quartet performing before Beauty and the Beast.
Our first trip with the kids was in September 2016. It was also our twins’ birthday week. They were sung to in Launch Bay. I have no idea who they were, but it appeared the four cast members were looking for someone with a special occasion to pop out and sing to. Instead of “happy birthday”, they sang “May the force be with you” to the same tune. They also got signed cards and extra desserts. My youngest son was the rebel spy on Star Tours.
We don’t look for the free stuff, as we have fun without it, but it does help with the magic!
I love this thread.
It’s all in the little things with Disney.
I had 2 absolute favorite moments
On my way to Boma for breakfast, I was heading toward the buses when the “traffic controller” asked me where I was heading. I told him, and I started to move so I could locate the correct bus as I expected to simply board a bus and either wait until it’s full, or for a designated leave time. Neither happens as he stops me completely and proceeds to “get me a bus.” A moment later he points me to a bus and says “They’ll take ya. Have a great day!” to which I then board said bus which then leaves immediately, with only me on board, for Animal Kingdom Lodge.
My 2nd favorite was when a cast member, who was giving out buttons, remembered me even though there were serveral days from the time I saw her.
Some others include
- Cast Member going to find a hat for me that wasn’t currently on display.
- CM giving me a several free samples of some juice cocktail at breakfast.
- CM photobombing a group selfie (not mine, but hilarious none the less)
- Towel Sculpture in the hotel room
- Cast members calling after a duck entering the park: CM1: “Hey, you can’t come in here, you didn’t pay!” CM2: “It’s okay! We’ll just put it on his bill”
- CMs spending an insanely inordinate amount of time helping me locate a t-shirt that didn’t exist.
I found that rebel spy T-shirt on clearance on the Disney store website after our trip. Score!
Our best was at DL, my DC had all just had makeovers at the old Elsa and Anna Boutique there.
My DD10 was Anna and has reddish hair like her (and wore her Anna Dress), my DS8 was in a Kristoff costume and had the Olaf makeover for boys (spiked his fairly long hair up and put white glitter in it) and then my little DD3 was dressed as Elsa and had the Elsa makeover.
First the cast members here spent a lot of time on my older two, My DD has long, long hair and her hairstyle took longer than normal but no complaints and smiles the entire time from the CM. The one with my son went above and beyond. When we checked in we were told they probably couldn’t spike his hair since it was so long but the CM who got him was determined and spent 30 minutes and a can or two of hairspray giving him a cool spiky Mohawk and he looked awesome. They were also out of tshirts in his size (part of the boys package). So they gave him a stuffed Olaf instead. It was worth more than what I paid for the boys package but no extra charge.
All this was really cool but the best part came next. We headed to DCA to meet Anna and Elsa next. The line was very long but wee waited and then they took small groups in a a time. We were at the end of a group after waiting45 minutes or more. We watched all the other families quickly hug, pose, sign autographs. They our turn came. Anna and Elsa loved our kids, they kept talking to them and hugging them and just talked for at least 15 minutes. The character handlers and photopass photographer kept laughing at Elsa who was obsesses with my DS hair and won’t stop touching it. No one was in any hurry to move us on, we loved they just took this time to just hang out for awhile.
We are had really great character interactions before but this was the absolute best!
-Our first morning at the wilderness lodge a rogue squirrel ran away with my 2yo’s doughnut. A cast members saw my little one crying and replaced the doughnut.
-That same day my older son ordered a meal from the kids menu only to realize it wasn’t what he expected (or would eat) and our server magically produced an uncrustsble sandwich for him. He was so tired and that little sandwhich made him so happy.
- At the Yatchsman steakhouse my husband and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary and we got surprise glasses of champagne at the end of our meal.
-My boys loved getting random stickers from various cast members. They thought that was awesome. Until their stickers fell off.
We had the exact same thing a few years ago, only we were going from Studios to Downtown Disney (as it still was back then). My family still talk about it!
For DD nothing beats being elected Junior Mayor at the Plaza last trip. She was so proud, and kept telling all the CMs about it. Of course, for the rest of the trip she insisted that she was in charge - she was the Jr Mayor after all…!
REALLY?! That is fantastic to know! If I’m honest, I’ve been secretly hoping I could get lightning to strike twice and have this happen again on my next trip. But I also was resigned to the idea that this was likely a confluence of lucky events and it was likely never to happen again.
But seeing this makes it sound like you just have to hit the right time instead of win a lottery. Which is awesome.
I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Disney has engineered situations so that when they happen, they turn them into magical moments. So, for example, let’s say they have a bus there with no riders and it is scheduled to move. They use that opportunity to randomly pick people to make them feel like they are getting the star treatment. (I’m not saying that is what they are doing, just conjecturing.)
So, yeah, it is a lucky turn of events, but still amazing that Disney actually thinks about these things. It is a business, yes…but a business that is in the business of creating such moments for their guests.
heh, want some slippers with your wet blanket? (lol I kid ). I don’t doubt it. And I don’t mind whatsoever.
If there is one thing I learned from Disney, it’s that “there ain’t nothin’ wrong with a lil’ presentation.” So it could be the most mundane thing in the world, but with a little fanfare and proper handling, it can turn into something far more impressive.
Yes. This is why I love Disney so much. (And, hey, I’m not a wet blanket…that was me actually complimenting Disney…most companies would not bother taking advantage of such moments to make a magical moment!)
For example, one thing I noticed while at Universal this time, compared to Disney, is that the employees were not “in character” a good percentage of the time. I could hear the ride operators, for example, chatting about personal things. In one of the shops, again, overhearing employees discussing personal matters. In another, I watched employees flipping through their text messages to pass the time while shoppers (us!) were around.
This kind of thing I just don’t notice at Disney. Oh, I’m sure it happens…but in general, they are trained to keep you believing you are their number one priority as much as possible.
It is a funny thing Disney did not do any of this, it is the CM’s. The CM’s make our trips magical, yet Disney just raised prices and still refuses to give the CM’s a proper raise and the bonus that was promised to them. If Disney is not careful they might have a strike on their hands when Toy Story Lands opens.